Two Flights and the First Day in Costa Rica

Trip Start Mar 24, 2009
Trip End Jun 10, 2009

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

 Well, after saying goodbye to my family at the airport, I sat around reading "El Conde de Montecristo" (aka the count of Montecristo) in the airport. I also called Abbey and talked to her for a while, and I opened up her flight gift, which is definitely the best present I've ever received. So that definitely gave me some mixed emotions, but they were all good. The other Davis kids strolled in and we boarded the plane soon after that. Although I slept through some of the flight, I still was awake for the Rockies and for our landing.

After our landing we found our gate and hung out for a bit. We grabbed some Quiznos and played some Spoons (I won) and then settled in for a six-hour wait... At first we tried looking around to see if there were other people from the program waiting too, but we couldn't see anyone. So we all started talking on our cell phones, doing stuff on our laptops, and just trying to pass the time. At around 10 I went for a 15-minute run in the airport, as it was deserted and I wanted to get some running in. So I used the conveyor belt things that people rest on as a shamble treadmill and just jogged around in big loops. A kid started imitating me, and then started following me and taking pictures. It was really weird, especially since he did it a bunch. Anyways, I changed back into comfortable clothing and got ready to head out. I talked to my parents and then gave Abbey one last call, and that was it as I boarded the plane for Costa Rica. It was midnight at this point, and I was kind of tired, but we had to fill out a couple forms declaring our purposes and stuff. It was interesting, at least. And then I tried to get some sleep on the flight, but it was tough. I was kind of groggy and half-asleep the whole time.

A new day began at 5:00 as I woke up in the plane to Costa Rica. The sun was just rising over the country, and I could just see the sillouhettes of the hills masked in fog and mist. It was beautiful, even from the plane. We went through customs and stuff, which was a lot smoother than I had expected. At this point we had a group of 9 people, and so we walked outside and met Erick, who helped us get taxis to the Hotel Cacts, where we stayed.

We waited around for a while, then got a bite to eat at the complementary breakfast upstairs, which was delicious. I ate about 5 plates of pollo pinto, which was just rice and black beans, and huevos. They were delicious. And I easily ate more than Beth, it really wasn't even a contest. At this point we also met a bunch of EAP people who had come up yesterday, but we were really tired so we went back to our room to take a nap. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and was deep in a dream when I was awoken. The whole group, 14 of us, basically walked around town all day. It was pretty sweet, it was cool to meet everybody and just absorb Costa Rica. My spanish was a little bit better than I expected, but it still has tons of room for improvement. Anyways, we visited a bunch of historical spots, including the Church of la Merced,

the Metropolitan Cathedral,

the National Theater, the National Museum, and a bunch of random parks, including the "prostitution park," as we called it. There was a lot of graffiti and cool artwork, and the streets were really crazy with no regard for rules of the road. But the Costa Ricans make it work somehow. My lunch was super good, called "casado con chuleta" which I took to be a combo platter, which was right. It was delicious and only $5, including tip. Pretty sweet. And I got to help translate stuff too, which was fun.

Also, in Costa Rica some of the crosswalk signs have actually moving people, which is pretty cool. They look like they're moonwalking forward. At the National Museum, there was a lot of cool historical stuff, which was fun to learn. Like about the conflicts and problems leading up to the abolition of the army in 1948. Anyways, I enjoyed that, and I got some pictures of the latrines there, the jail cell for reprimanding bad soldiers, and the peepholes for shooting people and surveying the city. After all this it was time for me to head back to the hotel for a dip in the pool. Since then, I've been updating this travel journal! So now everyone is caught up with me. I'll try to update as soon as I can, perhaps in two weeks or so. The rest of my pictures are at the bottom.

What Costa Ricans think of Jesus, Cool Crosswalk Sign, New Amigos, Contrast of Urban and Natural, Interesting Latrine Action, etc.:

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Where I stayed
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